Waterloo researchers in the Advanced Concepts Research Lab are developing a new method for medical imaging that could reduce the time to diagnosis.
Clinicians currently rely on a number of technologies for medical imaging, including MRI, X-rays, and ultrasound. However, they all come with challenges. Safety, costly equipment, and low-resolution images can increase the time it takes to get a diagnosis, and patients can wait weeks before they’re able to begin treatment.
“A patient might get an X-ray, then come back in two weeks to get the results,” explains Seyed Hossein Mirjahanmardi, a doctoral candidate in electrical and computer engineering, and the principle researcher on the project. “Those two weeks can be crucial. If there was a device that was cheaper and safer, the doctor could do a test immediately in his office. We could get an initial image right away, and if the doctor sees something suspicious, he can send the patient for further examinations.”
Supervised by professor Omar Ramahi, Mirjahanmardi and Ali Albishi, a collaborative researcher on the project, believe the solution lies in microwave technology. Using microwave imaging, they are creating a system that is safer way than other imaging technologies, like X-rays. Their system also relies on low-cost equipment, making it much cheaper than options like MRI.
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